Thursday, April 21, 2016

How Soon Will the 4th Circuit Ruling Impact North Carolina?

Christofascist supporters of HB2 at a "prayer vigil"
With North Carolina just 25 miles or so away and with a family wedding scheduled in the Outer Banks later in the year (we cannot get out of going), it is difficult not to focus on the batshitery happening across the border and the gyrations being engaged in by North Carolina Republicans who want to pander to their Christofascist masters and push for special rights for these knuckle draggers and their toxic religious beliefs.  This is especially true after the cataclysmic ruling of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals which indicates that a major piece of the anti-LGBT animus inspired HB2 is illegal.  Indeed, it suggests that public schools and universities like UNC at Chapel Hill will be putting their federal funding on the line if they comply with HB2.  A piece at CBS News looks at the possible time table for the 4th Circuit ruling to impact HB2.  Here are highlights:
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond sided Tuesday with a transgender teen's arguments that a Virginia school board violated Title IX by forbidding him from using the boys' restroom. The interpretation of the federal education law directly affects North Carolina.
The court's ruling imperils a provision in the North Carolina law - called HB2 - that requires transgender students in public schools and universities to use bathrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate, said Maxine Eichner, a University of North Carolina law professor.
"We have the writing on the wall here how that will come out," said Eichner, an expert on sexual orientation and the law.
How quickly the ruling's effects are felt in North Carolina depends on several factors. Among them are possible appeals, a separate lawsuit still pending and interpretation by state lawyers.
Last month in North Carolina, a transgender student and employee in the state's university system filed a lawsuit arguing that the new law violated Title IX. Eichner said they could use Tuesday's ruling to win an injunction blocking the law's provisions on bathroom access in public schools.
"What the plaintiffs would be doing is saying: 'There are transgender kids out there that are experiencing harm as a result of HB2 and who are likely eventually to ... have their legal claims resolved in their favor.' And given that, a court should step in immediately and bar the application of HB2," she said, referring to the law by its legislative name.
Chris Brook, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union who's leading the litigation challenging the North Carolina law, declined to discuss specifics about what his legal team's next move would be. Yet he said the appeals court's decision confirms one of their key arguments.
"Today's ruling makes plain what we've been saying since the day that HB2 was introduced in the legislature: that it violates Title IX," he said in a phone interview. "If you are a recipient of federal education funds you cannot discriminate."
The [Gloucester County, Virginia] school board could appeal the decision to the full appeals court or the U.S. Supreme Court. David Patrick Corrigan, an attorney for the school board, didn't immediately return a phone message requesting comment.

Personally, I would like to see the members of the Gloucester County School Board have to pay all litigation costs personally since they have deliberately violated Title IX because of their cowardice and desire to appease a few anti-LGBT crackpots in their county.   Gloucester County is a truly backward part of the Hampton Roads region, but it nonetheless needs to grasp that it is now the 21st century, not the 19th century. 

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